My Dog’s Nose is Warm and Dry. Does that Mean He is Sick?

Q

My dog’s nose is warm and dry. Does that mean he is sick?

A

The old myth that a dog’s nose should be cool and moist does have some truth to it. Dogs with a fever will often have a warm dry nose. This does not mean, however, that all dogs with dry noses are sick. This time of year especially, a nose can be dry just because of the weather. A dog’s nose is like a cooling tower. Warm moist air from his lungs condenses in his nose and this results in a moist, cool nose. When the weather is particularly hot this cooling effect is lost and the nose is dry.

This can also happen when your house is very dry in the winter. In this case, there just is not much moisture to condense.

If you are ever in doubt, a dog’s temperature can be taken rectally. It should be between 101 and 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit.  Also, keep in mind how your dog is acting. A warm nose on a happy, playful dog probably does not mean much. If you are still unsure, always contact your veterinarian.

If you need further advice, contact Hudson Veterinary Hospital at (330)650-2929.

Dr. Mark